Kerry Washington keeps America’s attention with her role as Olivia Pope on ABC’s hit series, Scandal. Every Thursday viewers tune in to see the “gladiator in a suit” as she implements strategic thinking under hectic circumstances, in addition to assuring her clients that any situation can be “handled,” all while balancing a love life just as chaotic as her work.

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Before Washington landed the role, she apparently had to deal with being stereotyped in Hollywood. During Variety’s fourth season of “Actors on Actors” she sat down alongside Aziz Ansari while the two had an exchange over Hollywood horror stories where Kerry reveals she was fired from two roles prior to Scandal for not being “‘hood.”

“Before ‘Scandal,’ I was actually cast in two other pilots. Both went to series, but I was fired and recast,” Washington said. “For both, it was because they wanted me to sound more ‘girlfriend,’ more like ‘hood,’ more ‘urban.’”

“I’ve had friends of mine say like they’re tired of ‘gayface’ and I was like, ‘What’s gayface?’ They were like, ‘It’s the gay version of blackface, like come in and be more effeminate,”‘ Washington said, recounting past conversations.”

Luckily, Kerry turned the tragedy of that situation into triumph. Where would we be without TGIT?


The full interview airs June 12 and June 19 on PBS SoCal.